Dr. Aya Soffer is Director of AI Tech in the IBM Research AI organization. In this role, Dr. Soffer directs the world-wide research strategy and works with IBM’s product groups and customers to drive Research innovation into the Market. Her focus is on creating world-class foundational AI technologies for Businesses while advancing the state-of-art AI capabilities for understanding unstructured data including image, video, speech, text and multi-modal data. This includes extracing knowledge from data, applying reasoning, and interacting with data via dialog and natural language queries.
In her 15 years at IBM Dr. Soffer has lead several strategic iniatives that have resulted in in both breakthrough technology and IBM products and solutions. These include enterprise and social search technology, now part of IBM’s Social Enterprise and Watson products; Big data analytics solutions in the area of customer analytics and social listening; Multimedia management and analytics solutions in the area of healthcare, security, and retail.
Dr. Soffer’s team in HRL is currently working on cutting edge technology in the areas of video analytics, natural language generation, argument mining, affective computing, social analytics and more with applications in Helathcare, Retail, Defense and Legal.
Dr. Soffer received her MS and PhD degrees in computer science from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1992 and 1995, respectively. Before joining IBM in 1999, she was a research scientist at Goddard space flight center, where she worked on digital libraries for earth science data. Dr. Soffer has published over 40 papers in referred journals and conferences and filed over 15 patents. She has additionally served on program committees, as track chair, and given keynotes in many leading conferences including a talk about Watson for Radililogists at the 2014 TEDMED conference.